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One Good Thing
Edwin Romond

It’s been a dead parade
of hours since 5 AM,
a march of the bland
with the meaningless and
I can think of nothing
I have done to merit
mentioning or
But now, at 8 pm,
I am bathing my son
in a tub filled with bubbles
and blue battleships,
the soapy water over
his Irish white skin
makes him glisten
like a glazed doughnut
and I should tell him
to stop splashing
but this is the first time
all day I have felt like living
so how can I scold
my boy who’s found joy
in something ordinary
as water? And when
I wash his hair
with Buzz Lightyear
shampoo, Liam
closes his eyes and
smiles like a puppy
being petted as I massage
the sweet lotion into                                                                          
his red curls and I know
this is one good thing
I have done with my life
this day that has waited
for this moment  
of water on my sleeve
and soap on my nose
to turn emptiness
into ecstasy.

This poem was a runner-up in Garrison Keillor’s 2014 Common Good Books Poetry Contest and was read on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac on September 15, 2014.
Used here with the author’s permission.


Edwin Romond  is a poet, playwright, and composer. Now retired, he taught English for more than 30 years in Wisconsin and New Jersey. Edwin's award-winning work has appeared in numerous literary journals, college text books, and anthologies, and has been featured on National Public Radio. His newest collection, Man at the Railing, from NYQ Books, recently won the Laura Boss Narrative Poetry Award. A native of Woodbridge, New Jersey, Edwin now lives in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, with his wife. Learn more about him at




Post New Comment:
I love this poem. All of Ed's poems are very meaningful and filled with love and craft.
Posted 06/21/2015 03:12 PM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful the way "emptiness" is turned into "ecstasy."
Posted 06/21/2015 12:58 PM
Gem is a good description.
Posted 06/21/2015 12:46 PM
Pat Brisson:
Edwin Romond has a talent for moving ordinary moments into the realm of the extraordinary, helping us to see the sacred in what many would consider mundane experiences. This one's a gem.
Posted 06/21/2015 12:13 PM
I love this. A father who can celebrate the simple everyday life of a small son is indeed a treasure.
Posted 06/21/2015 08:30 AM
Every time I see this poem, the world is a better place.
Posted 06/21/2015 06:33 AM
WOW! This is just so wonderful, I'm having trouble finding words to express my feelings. Thank you, Edwin Romond
Posted 06/21/2015 05:18 AM
One very good thing - one very good poem.
Posted 06/21/2015 03:19 AM

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